Imagine being too scared to ask for a bathroom break at work. Or working in 38 degree heat without safe drinking water. Or being locked in, forced to live in fear of fires or other accidents. On a recent trip to Myanmar, I spoke to Su Su Hlaing, a young woman for whom this was a daily reality. Su Su Hlaing told me that when she was young, she dreamt of being a teacher. But when the recent economic problems started, she had to find a job in the garment factories to support her family. I met her in their dormitory room where she lives and sleeps in what can only be described as slum-like conditions.
Responsibility is a mandatory for business - and it's about being mindful. Mindful of others feelings, experiences, ambitions and hopes. Mindful to avoid upsetting them. Mindful to make them happy. Mindful of the things that are important to them. Anyway, I was thinking about my own sense of responsibility (and hopefully integrity) in the context of my business interests and thought I'd explore some of the thinking behind the things I get up to and why I do them.
Sports luxe looks - the kind that embraces fine fabrics you definitely don't want to sweat in - have been around for a while now and this season is no exception. The appeal of gorgeous, wearable and, most phenomenally, genuinely comfortable clothing is just too much for this trend to die any time soon.
My name is Furquan and I'm a shopaholic. Before you read any further. This is not a rom com. Isla Fisher did not run into my arms with my online order of the latest High Street fashions. Instead I'm sat alone surrounded by my sale purchases listening to a Spotify playlist that promises me that my mood will be lifted... any... moment... now.
Small independents versus big chains; bricks and mortar versus online; Bill Grimsey v Mary Portas: the debate about the future of the high street is nothing if not divisive. But safeguarding the future health of our high streets means moving away from the confrontational approach so beloved of UK media to focus instead on partnerships.
So why don't we spend money with our local independent retailers? Why do we insist on hitting Debenhams for our clothes, Sainsbury's for our food and B&Q for our homeware or furniture? We all know the dire situation that independent business owners face yet we do nothing. Does it come down to price? Yes, maybe it does in some cases, but I think there's more to it than that.